Monday, January 24, 2005
What about the Pats? I have to admit being impressed by the job that they did on the Steelers. That was a dominating performance to watch. The Eagles have their work cut out for them.
As readers of A Citizen’s Blog know, I live in the northern ‘burbs of Pittsburgh, so I’ve been getting a lot of Eagles fever and Steelers fever these last few months. I was happy watching Eagles fans celebrate in Philly, and I’m sure that people went into work this morning with a skip in their step and a smile on their face. I’ve been watching the Eagles since they lost the fog bowl to the Chicago Bears in ’88, so this is a terrific feeling: my team finally cleared the hump. Those losses in the NFC title game, that decade playing second fiddle to Dallas, it’s all at an end. The Eagles are going to their first Super Bowl in 24 years. Time to be proud.
Watching the post-game celebration I was also specifically happy for a few players: Brian Dawkins, the team’s emotional leader and gritty warrior, was crying with joy. He works hard and deserves a chance to win it all. Jeremiah Trotter was happy too, probably realizing how lucky he is to have found his way back to the Eagles after leaving in ’02. I’m happy for T.O. too: he and Kearse were the two missing pieces of the puzzle. They should both be proud.
But the guy I’m most happy for is Donovan McNabb: Getting booed on draft day, falling short in the NFC title game three times, getting criticized for not being accurate enough … He’s put up with a lot. I’ve been a defender of McNabb for years, and I’m happy to see my faith in him finally justified. When the chips were down, when they needed veteran leadership and big plays, Donovan delivered in a big way. If anyone doesn’t believe that he’s one of the three or four best QB’s in the game today, they are crazy.
I feel bad for Steelers fans. In the nine years I’ve lived here I’ve never seen Steelers mania at this level. 15-1, rookie QB … Not even when they went to Super Bowl XXX (my freshman year of college) have people been this fired up, this excited. The Steelers fans embraced the team and embraced #7 Ben Roethlisberger like nobody else. The day after Xmas there were people with #7 jerseys everywhere. The fans had utter and complete confidence in Big Ben to win it all, so this has to be shattering to watch. People around here know that I’m an Iggles fan, so it would have been fun to have had the battle of Pennsylvania in Jacksonville, but this morning I feel a great swell of pity for Steelers Nation. Waking up this morning must have been tough.
So now the Super Bowl. I’ll handicap the matchups closer to the game, but I think the game will be tight. Regardless of how the Super Bowl turns out, this is a big week for Philadelphia.
Tomorrow I plan to return to blogging the Phillies. Yeah, the Phillies. Remember them?
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